Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 8, 2009
POLITICS: Yes, We .... Told You So

Even the Associated Press notices that Obama hasn't bothered trying to comply with his no-new-taxes-for-95%-of-Americans pledge:

Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have already increased tobacco taxes - which disproportionately hit the poor - to pay for extending health coverage to 4 million children in working low-income families.

Now, lawmakers are looking for more revenues to help pay for providing medical insurance to millions more who lack it at a projected cost of $1 trillion over the next decade.

The floated proposals include increasing taxes on alcohol, which could raise $62 billion over the next decade, and a new tax on sugary drinks such as soda, which could raise $52 billion.

H/T This is beyond the colossal taxes incorporated in the "cap-and-trade" bill. As the AP notes and others have noted lately, the explosive growth of current and future spending under Obama is basically designed to force tax increases down the line.

Yes, we told you so.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:18 PM | Politics 2009 | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

By 'even the Associated Press', do you mean the one that had their acting bureau chief almost join the McCain campagin, send love notes to Karl Rove, and had one of their covering reporter buy Senator McCain donuts? Ah, that's the one.

You should also compare what his actual promise was. I know, I know, it's much easier to just make things up and use that, but try it. You may find interesting.

You may also want to look into who-told-you-what about the long term impact of Bush's temporary tax cuts, and how true those came out. I'm guessing that many of those saying 'told you so!' now were so very wrong for so many years.

Posted by: Dave at July 8, 2009 11:09 PM

The "actual promise" changed so many times during the campaign you needed a scorecard, sometimes from day to day. But Obama clearly led the American people to believe that nobody below the top 5% and/or the $250,000 income bracket would see a tax hike. That's just not how it is working out.

By "the long term impact of Bush's temporary tax cuts," if you mean the financial projections on the 2001 cuts or the 2003 cuts, I refer you to Crank's First Law of Government Financial Forecasts: they are always, always wrong.

Posted by: Crank at July 8, 2009 11:20 PM

"The "actual promise" changed so many times during the campaign you needed a scorecard, sometimes from day to day"
Not really. Still easy to find, too. Still not what you said.

"they are always, always wrong."
And yet, people continued to frantically try to make them permanent even as these predictions were proving to not be true, and continued until last year. Despite the incredible debt it would add on to our already incredible debt.
I believe that you were one of these people, though I can't say how frantically you believed it should happen.

If something is working much less well than expected, and it continually shows up as poorer than expected - to argue to make it permanent is flawed. Unless you are only guided by dogma (cut taxes, debt doesn't matter as long as it is us doing it).

Our expected finances would likely be even worse, in 2010, if this had happened.

Posted by: Dave at July 8, 2009 11:54 PM

Love the argument above, he refernces (assuming he is actually telling the truth) the one media person thats not in the tank for Obumbler and ignores, as lefties usually do, the thousands of media members, reporters, publications, anchormen, etc that pimped 24/7 for the most unqualified candidate for President ever.


Per Rasmussen-Obumbler down to 52% approval rating. Strongly disapprove more than Strongly approve. Generic Republican Congressional Candidates ahead of the their Democratic counterparts. This is all happening with around the clock media distortion and pro-Obambi propaganda. The people are waking up finally to the amateur hour/socialist administration in their midst. This clown will be below 50% by Labor Day. Double dip recession headed this way, trillion dollar annual deficits as far as the eye can see, inflation ready to explode. Unemployment already 10% worse than if we had did nothing per Obumbler.

Can't wait for the off year and the mid-term elections.

Posted by: dch at July 9, 2009 1:02 AM

I don't see the tobacco and sugary drinks tax as a violation of his tax pledge. That is really a marginal argument at best. I certainly wouldn't characterize it as "not bothering trying to comply" with the pledge.

That being said, if he's going to tackle health care reform, he does have to do it in a way that doesn't explode the deficit/debt. I'm not convinced he can do it, but I'm willing to give it a look.

Posted by: MVH at July 9, 2009 9:56 AM

"Obama made a firm tax pledge during the presidential campaign, repeating it numerous times in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day: no tax increases for individuals making less than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000.

"Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes," Obama told a crowd in Dover, N.H., last year."

link

Posted by: A.S. at July 9, 2009 10:17 AM

I don't see the tobacco and sugary drinks tax as a violation of his tax pledge.

Only if one defines "one dime" and "tax" as things other than dimes or taxes. I don't hate the guy & realize that we're in a mess that wasn't his doing (he certainly did his share to help) but......come on, math is math and taxes are taxes.

Imagine how things are going to look when those rosy projections of 4% growth that Obama put forth don't come to fruition.

Just wait, folks, we're in for a world of hurt.

Posted by: RW at July 9, 2009 10:57 AM

I dismiss any of these losers who harp about the costs of national healthcare, reducing green-house gases, or anything else that might help the citizens of the country.
We found the money to start the Iraq clusterfuck, I'm sure we can find more (or we can just print up more) to help the citizenry.

Posted by: Berto at July 9, 2009 2:27 PM

Wait...so now 2 wrongs make a right? So the Iraq War was actually a good thing because it will justify more needless spending or printing of money? Interesting logic.

And I just love the assumption that government spending is necessary to fix the cost of health care. Does it occur to anyone that perhaps the opposite is true?

Posted by: per14 at July 9, 2009 3:03 PM

I've been crazy busy at work, let me just touch base on the tax-promises bit. I covered some of the iterations of the tax promise here back in October, and I didn't believe them then. This one is pretty damned unambiguous:

If you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, my plan will not raise your taxes. Period. Not income tax, not payroll tax, not capital gains tax, not any of your taxes. And chances are you will get a tax cut.

As I noted at the time, there may have been a weaselly Clintonian aspect to "my plan" in that he was (fingers crossed, behind his back) reserving the right to have a totally different plan once elected, but I leave it to Dave to blame the voters for believing that this meant that Obama would not raise "any of your taxes" on anyone making below $250,000.

And it should be recalled that violations of the tax pledge so far, and the likely ones to come, aren't nearly as egregious as the violations of the promise of a net cut in federal spending, which even the most diehard Barackheads must admit was a bald-faced lie that he'll never come within a trillion dollars of honoring.

Posted by: Crank at July 9, 2009 3:20 PM

In case Dave is still suffering from amnesia about the AP, Taranto walks through the AP's repeated "fact check" efforts during the campaign to convince voters that Obama would not raise their taxes.

Posted by: Crank at July 9, 2009 4:46 PM

"As I noted at the time, there may have been a weaselly Clintonian aspect to "my plan" in that he was (fingers crossed, behind his back) reserving the right to have a totally different plan once elected, but I leave it to Dave to blame the voters for believing that this meant that Obama would not raise "any of your taxes" on anyone making below $250,000."
He was speaking of income and income related taxes Crank. You need to look at the quote in full, and how he was responding to critics. Even the factcheck link you use in the earlier post hits on that. All of those taxes you pay to the government, directly.
It was never brought up during the campaign that the SCHIP extension would interfere with this - it's not because the McCain campaign missed it.

I hate to tell you, but a tobacco tax isn't a tax on me. It's a tax on the cigarettes which the store owner can either eat or pass onto me. Most don't eat it, though one guy I was talking to does at times in order to drive business. It's an interesting thing to talk to him about it - it's hard to drive interest for a a near standard priced pack ($3.75 to $4.25), but also hard to drive it away because it's universal.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/27/AR2008082703399_pf.html

Look at the talk of how SCHIP was talked about last year. Go do Google searches for SCHIP tobacco 2008. This didn't surprise me, and if it surprised you, you weren't paying attention.

I still think he's going to have trouble for the net cut, but it will be interesting. Give it a year or two.

"Per Rasmussen-Obumbler down"
I don't know if you know this dch, but when you veer out of whatever echo chamber holes you like to shout into - this seems pretty silly.

You can take an otherwise solid argument, and reduce it to loud noises. Never understand this, or the BusHitler things.

Do you find it funny? Do you think it enhances what you say? I just find it kind of sad.

Posted by: Dave at July 9, 2009 5:25 PM

Crank, perhaps the President should adopt GOP methods and call them tobacco user fees. Reagan's staff used that "sleight" of hand to fool him. That was enough to gett all the wing nuts in the tank.

Posted by: Magrooder at July 9, 2009 10:46 PM

Yet another swing and miss for per14.
The point is this: If you want to throw money around, do it for something that actually helps the citizens--not the limited war profiteers financially connected to the guys that started the war in the first place.
OTOH, you might be right that government spending may not be needed to fix the healthcare crisis (since we currently spend far and away the most for healthcare, without getting great results).
If true, those doing the insurance companies bidding (GOP and "moderate" Dems) are going to need another excuse to screw over the citizens.

Posted by: Berto at July 10, 2009 11:42 AM

Berto,
Printing money that we don't have never helps the citizens no matter what that money is spent on. That's my point. It's the act of printing money that's causing all the economic problems we're having.

And I'm all for taking insurance companies out of the picture on the routine procedures and Rxs that form 75% of Americans' health care.

Posted by: per14 at July 10, 2009 11:57 AM

"You should also compare what his actual promise was."

"'I can make a firm pledge,' [Obama] said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12. 'Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.'..."

Unless you smoke. Or drink. Or drive a car. Or use electricity...


"You may also want to look into who-told-you-what about the long term impact of Bush's temporary tax cuts, and how true those came out."

The long-term impact was a significant increase in government revenues. The current structural deficits are, as was the case in the 80s, as is virtually always the case, a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

Posted by: Lyford at July 10, 2009 3:59 PM

If you want to throw money around, do it for something that actually helps the citizens-

I'm waving a purple finger in your direction.

Posted by: RW at July 11, 2009 4:13 PM

RW,
And the over million Iraqi refugees (who coincidentally stayed in Iraq under Saddam's reign) are waving right back at ya.

Posted by: Berto at July 13, 2009 10:46 AM

I don't see the tobacco and sugary drinks tax as a violation of his tax pledge. That is really a marginal argument at best.

MVH:

Were you serious when you posted that, or were you just unaware of his actual pledge? If you were serious and knew of his original pledge, you just lost a lot of credibility as the 'middle of the road' voice you seem to try to be.

Posted by: Agent W at July 14, 2009 9:16 AM

Agent W,

Of course I was serious about my post. As for his actual pledge, it has been characterized slightly differently depending on his speech. My understanding of it was that he wouldn't tax those 95% on the basis of income, whether it be income tax, payroll tax, whatever.

I don't view the tobacco/sugary drinks tax as any serious violation of that pledge because (1) they aren't based on level of income, and (2) they are completely avoidable taxes. If you don't drink sugary drinks or use tobacco, then you aren't taxed.

Frankly, I don't want Obama raising -any- taxes to pay for this health care plan, so I'm not a fan of these taxes for a completely different reasons.

As for "trying to be" a middle of the road voice, I don't *try to be* anything other than consistent and civil. I don't slam republicans for anything I wouldn't slam democrats. I also try to be somewhat civil in my posts to avoid a flame war. I've said on occasion that most here would probably consider me a moderate based on the sum total of my policy positions, but that's only so you know where I'm coming from.

I have no vested interest in defending Obama or his administration. As I've said, I am a very reluctant democrat, and I'd be an independent if I could vote in a primary in CT. I voted Republican before, and I will vote Republican again.

Posted by: MVH at July 14, 2009 4:21 PM

MVH:

As for his actual pledge, it has been characterized slightly differently depending on his speech. My understanding of it was that he wouldn't tax those 95% on the basis of income, whether it be income tax, payroll tax, whatever.

Except Crank, Lyford, and others have shown that he specifically went beond income tax and payroll tax in his speeches.

Do you still hold this view, or have you actually changed your mind to incorporate the facts?

Posted by: Agent W at July 16, 2009 8:10 AM

I read the AP article to which Crank linked. In the context of those speeches, he was talking about income/earining based taxes. If you want to hone in on the words "any taxes" to include consumption-based taxes that are entirely avoidable, go ahead. I'm not going to hammer him for that. As far as I know, Obama didn't run on a "no new taxes at all" pledge, so I am not shocked to see a consumption tax. The bigger issue is whether he should be taxing at all to achieve this health care plan.

Posted by: MVH at July 16, 2009 10:18 AM

So that's a, "No, in the face of the facts, I refuse to change my argument."

Noted.

Posted by: Agent W at July 16, 2009 11:15 AM
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